Greatness awaits!

Came across this post and thought it was worthy of a re-post. 72 pounds lighter, but THIS is still the prayer and cry of my heart. May we learn to be kind to each other and ESPECIALLY ourselves.

Mandimonologue

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My daughter stepped on the scale in my bathroom today while I was cleaning. It was a golden moment from the heavens that I almost missed by being distracted by my own thoughts and busyness.

She stepped on it and said,”Ok mama, let’s see how great I am!”

What.

The.

Heck.

My face still might be slightly numb.
Seriously.
Men may not get this post, but I know women will.

For many of us ladies, the scale represents so many vile things. It boasts the measurement of our worth (or so we’ve learned from somewhere) and it doesn’t lie, right? It can’t be tricked or cheated like the number that we’ve put on our drivers licenses. The scale will expose all of your secret rendezvous with the drive thru, the left overs and the chocolate chip cookies that you thought were safe from the public eye, late in the…

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Miracle Grow

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” And she had a will like a root; it was sometimes hidden underground, but it was there, tough and fibrous and sustaining everything she did.”

My cheeks burn as I try to stand my ground.
Speaking my mind.
Having the audacity to challenge credentials.

Hold on tight… I can feel my grip slipping.
And I realize I’m done,
done and onto the next one.

Are friendships supposed to be this hard?
Is this the easy and light yoke that was promised?
What happened to fellowship and sharpening of swords?

It feels so heavy,
but everything about me is heavy, so maybe it’s just me.
Agreeing that yes, I need to die to myself.
So I try.
And try and try and try.
And it chips away at what is left.

And with it,
the belief in grace for all.
Pardon for all.
Faith for all.
Because, it’s taken me so long to figure this thing out,
and now it’s ruined.

Guilt regulating this frigid temperature.
Nothing can grow on this plot.
Hard like a rock.
You can blame yourself.

If I’m rebellious?

Bitter?

I’m disobedient because my back straitened taller when I challenged what you said?

Am I obnoxious because my voice is raised often, and with passion?

Am I lost because I can’t fake what I don’t believe?

The little root and sprout of the woman I’m supposed to be has been curled up and hidden beneath the dark soil.

The earth is fresh and damp and warming up under the beating sun.

Soon, there will be a new thing.

A bloom.

Rooted deeply and rooted onward by the ONE who created my lungs to fill with my own words.

I feel it coming back again,
the hints of something special.
That nudge that I was made for something special.
That you are special too.

Pound the shovel down and pierce what would have died,
with freedom.

I am exactly who I’m supposed to be.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:18

* the picture and quote I shared are from an Instagram account I follow
http://instagram.com/prettynpaleoatx *

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Every summer has its own story

I thought it would be fun to revisit an old post from last summer. Especially since it has a nostalgic vibe to it. Enjoy!

Mandimonologue

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The summer I turned sixteen seems like an exaggerated moment in time when I think of it. Summers were long and lazy when we were younger. Watching cartoons, random tv and playing in the back yard with my siblings while our parents were at work filled the daylight hours. Lots of fighting with each other and calling mom at work only to get in more trouble for having bothered her in that way. Day after day of boredom and drowsiness.

At night I pretended to be more mature than I was and I would sneak out from my bedroom window to hangout with friends or even sneak them IN to hang out with me. I’m pretty sure that was the summer I felt like I was painfully in love for the first time and spent my thought life day dreaming of ways to see him at night. The kids I…

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The here and now

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“So line on up, and take your place
And show your face to the morning.
Cause one of these days, you’ll be born and raised.
And it all comes on without warning.”

– John Mayer, “Born and Raised”

Another summer is approaching.

Quickly.

It seems spring has barely unfolded it’s offerings before the heat of summer threatens to come on in and steal the show.

I hate to be the cliche person that seems baffled at how quickly time rolls by, shaking my head at all the young whipper-snappers.
But alas, here I am: amazed that before we know it, Memorial Day weekend will turn into Labor Day weekend and we will all be talking about how crazy it is that we are approaching the holiday season.

But don’t worry, I’m not asking you to dust of your Christmas bins. (Some of us just barely got that stuff packed back up!). Actually, I’m suggesting the complete opposite.

As I type this I am enjoying being a passenger on a family drive. Taking in the warmth and the sights and feeling like anything might be possible. Feeling thankful and joyful. Feeling like what lies ahead this summer may have the potential to be one of those great summers that songs are written about. One of those summers that are filled with smells and tastes and textures that will burn into your memory like the sun on your arm, resting on the open window of your car headed somewhere promising.

Wind blowing, music blaring.

I reach over and take this snap shot as we are driving and am struck once again at how simply God nudges us. These moments are all just brief snap shots. If you’re not paying attention you might miss it completely.

Miss out on a wink from your husband that speaks more to me than hours of road trip conversation.

Miss out on little fingers wanting to hold my hand for a moment.

Miss out on little voices yelling “slug bug!”.

Miss out on whatever is in store.

No, I’m in no rush. Today I don’t want to miss a thing.

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One year of blogging and looking ahead

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It has officially been one year and I have the same heavy body I had last February when I started this blog.

I’m writing from the same couch. Same living room. Same house. Same warm dog lying next to me.

So much has remained the same but I know that when I stop and think, I’m at least a little older and whole lot wiser.

A lot can happen in a year.

If I’m being honest, I really thought that if I gave myself over to the honesty of writing and sacrificed myself on the alter of this blog, that somehow all of my excess weight and self doubt would magically melt away by the sheer power of humility.

I would NOT hold back and I would come out of this transformed and on my way to being a big deal. Spiritually, mentally, physically and creatively superior. Ready to impact the world with my success story.

Well, that didn’t happen.

What has happened is REAL life, and not the la-la land I was imagining where magical things unfold without any work.

One thing I’ve learned is that love hurts. Sometimes, love means turning the other way. Destructive and repetitive family cycles are agonizing to remove yourself from, but for wholistic health, it must be done!

When trying to soak up someone else’s pain only makes them sicker and you, sicker…the downward spiral deepens. Having to let go of someone you love because you can’t be their savior…walking away from their pain?
About the worst thing I’ve had to attempt and see through. Somewhere along the way I’ve believed that taking care of others is way more important than caring for myself. I’ve learned the hard way that this is just simply untrue. I have no idea how or what that looks like.
Still working it out.

Because of not knowing how to properly care for myself and my own needs, I’ve also learned that I can’t trust myself around food and REALLY can’t trust myself around a bible.

My spiritual life is connected to my tangible eating and breathing life, is connected to my creative life, is connected to my mental life is connected to my spiritual life…blah blah blah. I know that the more I struggle against my creator the worse I seem to struggle mentally, creatively and physically.

So why the struggle?

I know all the proper “theological” answers. I am a sinner who wants to be my own God…I want to captain this ship of mine on my own, and thus will suffer from these ill navigated waters until I surrender.

Boo.

That’s really not it.
I’m just desperate for an authentic faith. I reject being boxed into a “Christian-living-looks-like-this” box. As much as I try to not care and act aloof about the whole thing, at the end of the day I just want to press in and get close enough to Jesus to touch the hem of his garment. To push through the crowds and see him for REALS. Be near Him. Be healed. Without anyone telling me I’m doing it wrong, or interpreting it wrong, or questioning if my motives were biblical…or WRONG.

I’ve let my distaste for our audacious “Christian culture” and all the rights and wrongs create distance between me and the source of love and life.

It’s weeks like this past week that bring me back down onto my knees where faith and reality meet head on.

A beautiful friend of mine suddenly passed away from a violent athsma attack. She was my age. A mother of 4 young children and a wife to a husband whom she adored. Her death was shocking and heart breaking. A few days later, the news of another friend from high school, taking his own life.

No matter who you are or what you believe, when your heart is breaking you look for the goodness of God. You search to find light to chase out the darkness. To fill in the cracks of what’s been broken.

Perhaps that is why he allows us to endure hard things, so that we will put down our rubbish and shenanigans and get back to finding and staying near to the source because we certainly aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.

So, this year I will continue to do just that. Seek out He is who is the source and stay near to Him. I will continue to write and throw myself onto this blogging alter in that pursuit.

No expectations of crazy miracles or outcomes, just me, keeping it real.


*I was surprised by who was on the sidelines cheering me on at the start of this blogging journey and am equally surprised by who remains and is still here pushing me onward.

So, in honor of my one year blogging anniversary, THANK you so much for loving me despite what a maniac I am.

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Greatness awaits!

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My daughter stepped on the scale in my bathroom today while I was cleaning. It was a golden moment from the heavens that I almost missed by being distracted by my own thoughts and busyness.

She stepped on it and said,”Ok mama, let’s see how great I am!”

What.

The.

Heck.

My face still might be slightly numb.
Seriously.
Men may not get this post, but I know women will.

For many of us ladies, the scale represents so many vile things. It boasts the measurement of our worth (or so we’ve learned from somewhere) and it doesn’t lie, right? It can’t be tricked or cheated like the number that we’ve put on our drivers licenses. The scale will expose all of your secret rendezvous with the drive thru, the left overs and the chocolate chip cookies that you thought were safe from the public eye, late in the night.

For me, the scale has been an electric source of regular shame and resentment of myself. A constant pang of disappointment and a truly humiliating reality check of my life as a fat woman.

Not that I would need any help with that. There are plenty of places to look if you want to be “fat shamed”. The internet is riddled with people upset by the mere sight of fat people. How dare we wander into the light of day? How dare we try to dress in whatever might fit and try to run errands or go grocery shopping for our families? Obviously, obscene obese people in public have put themselves out there to be a public mockery, right? They deserve to have strangers secretly take their pictures and post them up on public forums to ridicule and judge them without mercy, right?

Even the “positive” and “motivating” messages and memes can sting a little. “Thinspiration” has become an actual thing. Pinterest boards are wrought with sayings like,” sweat is your fat crying” or “pain is fat crying”. “These burpees and push-ups will make your fat cry”.

Boo.

Why is it that I’m supposed to wanna make my fat cry?

Sounds weird.

Sounds like more hate.
I’m tired of all the hate!
And, I’m damn sure sick of crying!
Leave people alone!

Actually, I’d love for my fat to just politely excuse itself, apologize for lingering so long, and be on its way.
Put that on your Pinterest.

Yeah right!

I know it takes hard work and discipline to be healthy. I’m trying everyday to get there. It’s a long road, but health is my goal. I’m NOT one of these “fat acceptance” gals. I do not accept being unhealthy and miserable. I do not accept self loathing. I do not believe that anyone who is over weight (especially REALLY overweight like me) can be 100% happy with themselves.

Sorry.
I don’t buy that baloney for one second.

It hurts. It’s actually, physically uncomfortable and causes pain. It’s hard to move and do the things you want. It’s embarrassing. I don’t believe that fat is fabulous.
But, I’m beginning to believe you can be fabulous while being fat…and loving yourself regardless of what your struggling through, and that is what I am trying to learn.

That is why, what my daughter said today was so golden.

It’s not because the number on the scale should measure how “great” we are…the subtle lesson was in her innocent approach to the whole thing. She’s not yet learned what “the scale” even means or represents. She’s not yet poisoned by the beauty=worth lie.

She just knows that she’s great.

She is great!

And I pray with all of my heart and soul that that is how it stays for her. That she would see herself as great no matter what comes her way or what challenges she will have to struggle through.

And may it start with me…because I know she is watching.

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Pushing pause on a moment

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Right this minute,
we are all safe and sound.
I’ll take it.

Hold my breath and enjoy.
No one is mad.
No one is troubled.
Everyone is right where they should be.
My family.

There is a whisper of perfection.
So frail, we must talk softly.
So subtle, I almost missed it.
A fleeting glimpse.
A bubble bouncing
on a blade of grass;
the burst inevitable but gentle.

A moment demanding to be noticed.
As delicate as a dress
being saved for a special occasion.
Taking careful time to be revealed.
Appreciated.

So, stop and listen.
Sip and taste.
Savoring the sweetness swirled
in a heavy glass and enjoyed.

Cheers!

This moment,
where all is well and rare.
Kids are outside to play.
Laughing and giggling.
Today, it seems there are no monsters to slay and I can say
I’ve mothered them well.
Relax and welcome the swell.
Pride and contentment warm my face.

I smile and glow and celebrate
a moment of jokes,
hugs and welcome homes!

In an instant, a visit.
My brother on hometown soil.
Respite for this refugee.
Our hero,
our Drakie.

We all grasp at our chance to share him.
Slice his time like a juicy pie.
Against his will, but he won’t mind.
He has no choice.
Making the rounds.
Breaking bread with friends…
before his journey beings.

Right this minute we know we’re lucky.
To see that he is still himself.
Home and whole.
Here, and FULL of life and laughter.
Stories, glories and dreams.
Victories.

Burn this onto all of our hearts,
file it away as he goes.
So when he closes his eyes tight at night we will be with him there.
Wherever he will be.
Where a war will rage
to rob him of his joy
and memories.
Innocence and revelries.

We will be as real as we can be.
Tucked into a corner of his heart that he will guard fiercely.
Visiting when the coast is clear.

This is now, for real.

As real as his big, brown bag thrown into the back of my truck.
Heavy with the clothes and concerns he has packed up.
Tossed aside for a respite,
and peace of mind.

As real as his laugh that hasn’t changed since he was a kid.
Singing and dancing in cowboy boots and fringe.
Making everyone laugh as he always did.

As real as the curly red hair kept short on his head.

As real as this moment that’s already being muted.

As real as being fully alive as we are right now!
Sewn together in a way
I couldn’t describe if I tried.

My tribe.

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A little moment in the sun

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I’m siting in my car right now, taking a few moments to let my daughter sleep. We have had a crazy busy day and she has been a polite little trooper who has earned herself a nap. (I will be kinda sad next year when she starts kindergarten and retires her post as my daily side-kick.)

Some days you just gotta do this.
Push the pause button on the day and breathe. Moving them out of the car into the house after they fall asleep will most certainly wake them up…and sometimes it’s more than worth it just to put it in park, roll the windows down and chillax.

So here I am. Chillaxin. (I actually typed that word out twice just now, how hip of me…)

Soaking in a lovely Nevada afternoon. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, I’m feeling so very “Octobery”.

Yet, despite my peaceful little moment here, I can’t help but have a heavy heart. I keep staring at my messy, sleeping little baby girl and my heart swells with love and a little fear. Its hard NOT to be afraid right now if you are a parent.

My mind keeps wandering to the candle light vigil I attended last night with my husband, children and friends in response to the school shooting that happened here on Monday. Honoring the life of a man who died this week in my hometown, protecting students at the school he taught at. It was (and is) surreal that it has happened here, but it comes as no surprise to any of us anymore. As if to say,” Well, I guess it was our turn?”

No matter how we try, we cannot escape suffering in this life. It just HAPPENS to each of us in different ways. But, for just this quick quiet moment, I feel like no matter why or what may come…I know that God is big enough to be trusted with it all. Even with MY babies.

So I can let it go…and tomorrow when I try to take it back into my own hands and be afraid, I will remind myself of this:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
-Isaiah 26:3 NLT

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Island living

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I’ve been out bobbing on the water again.
I know I’m not alone.
We are no strangers to island living.

Bad news begs to shift the shape I’m in…
but I’ve discovered my resilience doesn’t fail me.
I fail to keep it.
Failed to keep the faith given to me so abundantly.
Remarkable recovery.
Rescuing me again and again.

Surrender.

Waters rage and calm…
day by day.
The shores of my heart weathered but,
I’ve found I’m anchored deeply after all.

Kept quiet for a respite to catch my breath.
Silence repairing damage done.
Pulling in deep,
lungs expanding.
Burning with a stretch that reaches far past what I’ve known.
Pain begins to sweeten and dull with gained strength,
reassured that healing is happening.
Breathing easier now.
Health is a steady diet of truth and rest.
Heavy heart on the mend.

“The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island.

But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound life a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity. Part of what it means to be is to be you and not me, between us the sea that we can never entirely cross even when we would. “My brethren are wholly estranged from me,” Job cries out. “I have become an alien in their eyes.”

The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no man is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs about all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everyone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than more of the time we dare to admit.

Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done –not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speak the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well. The islands become an archipelago, a continent, become a kingdom whose name is the Kingdom of God.”

― Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark

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Truth dump

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I recently took a break from Facebook over the weekend.
So much happening around us, it’s hard being constantly bombarded with bad news and attitudes. I feel like my life and the lives around me are caught up in an intense tornado of chaos and drama.
Feeling like I need to be strong leaves me lonely sometimes.

I hate when I feel this way. I seem like such a whiner. Maybe that’s why I haven’t felt much like writing lately?
Pressing on despite how it feels.
It’s all exhausting.

Heavy lids.
Heavy limbs.
Heavy thoughts.
Lugging.
Feels like I need work done under the hood again.
Scrubbing.
Like I have thick molasses oil in my veins…
pulling me down into the melancholy resistance that keeps me…
Quiet.
Struggle.
Tired.
Fail.
Again and again and again.
Lord, rescue me from the despair of myself…again.
It hurts.
I distract.
I numb.
I sleep.
Wake up and repeat.
Depression is merciless.
It won’t let up.
Let up!
Give me a break!
I don’t want it to run off on others.
Contagious.
I know people with worse problems.
I’m not allowed to cry.
But today I fully feel all of my own tears.
Hot and revealing.
Can’t hide.

Telling the truth is hard work.

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